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Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 August 2006, 12:15 GMT 13:15 UK
16th Century 'royal' shop reopens
Royal House in Machynlleth before its renovation
Royal House fell into disrepair
A 16th Century shop which survived a demolition order and is said to have played host to Charles I has been given a new lease of life.

Royal House in Machynlleth, Powys, dates back to 1581 and sold fine cloths, but it fell into disrepair.

It was saved from demolition in the mid-1990s. After a three-year 850,000 restoration scheme it has reopened as a tourist information centre.

Legend says Charles I stayed there in 1643 during the English Civil War.

Owned by Machynlleth's Tabernacle Trust, according to the Royal Commission on Ancient and Historic Building of Wales it is one of only three shops of its type left in Wales.

King Charles I
Royal House is named after King Charles I

Project manager Richard Lambert said the old Montgomeryshire District Council had approved the building's demolition in the early 1990s.

"Following local government reorganisation in 1996, Powys Council overturned the order following a strong campaign by Machynlleth and District Civic Society," he said.

Mr Lambert said local legend has it that the property got its name after King Charles stayed there.

Machynlleth county councillor Michael Williams said Royal House was one of only four buildings from the 14th Century left in Machynlleth.

"This will be a huge boost for the town and I am delighted for all the people who worked so hard to get this scheme going," he said.

The majority of the funding has come from the Heritage Lottery Fund, but Cadw, Powys Council, the Welsh Development Agency and Machynlleth Town Council also donated money.

Royal House will open as a tourist information centre on 1 September.



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